Rebecca Hall Talks Acting in Gotham Winter 2014
During her interview with actor/director Ethan Hawke, the "Iron Man 3" beauty opened up about about her parents, Sir Peter Hall and Maria Ewing, and even shared details about her new show.
Check out a few highlights from Miss Hall's Q&A session below. For more, be sure to visit Gotham!
On her new show's director Lyndsey Turner:
"She's a British director- amazing, actually. I met her a year ago, and she said I'd love to do something with you. She suggested this play, which I heard of but not read."
On her experience with all-female productions:
"That doesn't surprise me [that Ethan has never been directed by a woman], which is sad, frankly, that it doesn't. This production is a play about a woman, and it had a female director, a female designer, a female lighting designer. The fact that that's an anomaly... But I think it’s important because [with women in key roles for Machinal] it’s very much what the play’s about. It’s based on Ruth Snyder, who killed her husband and was the second woman to be executed in the electric chair in New York. [The playwright] Sophie Treadwell was a journalist. Although she didn’t write about the trial, she did attend it. On the day of Ruth Snyder’s execution, a guy from the Daily News strapped a camera to his ankle and got a photo of her seconds before they pushed the button on the chair. It was on the front page of the paper. When you look at it, it’s still shocking. Treadwell basically wrote an angry, visceral outpouring, that this woman became a sensationalized celebrity. She wrote a play that’s not about Ruth Snyder, but every woman, someone not heroic, not particularly outspoken, but a fragile regular woman. What are the circumstances in which society can be pushed to a limit? Where a woman has no voice? What are the circumstances by which she commits a murder? What Treadwell writes is full of rage and anger, about the lack of voice for people who are oppressed."
On her mother:
"My mom, Maria Ewing, is an American opera singer. She sang at the Met and in opera houses all over the world. There was an artistry to everything she did, an utter dedication [to finding] the truth to the role. Growing up, a sense of 'don’t ever make compromises' was instilled in me; always maintain truth and stick to the integrity of the piece. Be bold—otherwise, what’s the point?
On her father:
"One day when I was 8, I went to his office to wait for him to finish work—he was directing a TV series. And that was the day that they were casting the part of the little girl in the series. None of the 300 little girls had been quite right. And the producer walked past and looked at me and made a strange face. Then I saw them go into the office room, where my dad was sitting, and my father started gesticulating wildly, 'NO.' Later he came out and said, 'The producer has some crazy idea you look like the little girl we need for this part and maybe you would be interested in auditioning.' And this bit I can’t remember at all, so it could be family legend—but apparently I said, 'Yes, yes, absolutely. I’ve always wanted to be an actress.' But whether or not I did that is really—"
Photo Credit: David Slijper for Gotham